When blood flow to the brain is interrupted, confusion occurs and neurological symptoms appear based on the affected area of the brain. A mini-stroke, also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), is a short-term loss of blood flow that can be restored before permanent damage to brain tissue. If you’ve had a TIA, it’s important to get medical attention because it can be an early sign of a future stroke. In fact, one in three people with a TIA will have a more serious stroke within 48 hours, and 10 to 15 percent of people with a TIA will have a major stroke within three months, according to the American Stroke Association. This is important information to remember.
Usually brief, TIA symptoms can easily fly under the radar, go unnoticed or simply feel like fatigue or dizziness, so it’s important to recognize symptoms when they appear.
Let’s take a deeper look at TIA to understand the causes, risk factors, stroke symptoms, and warning signs you may not be aware of.
What causes a small stroke?
There are several important causes of blood clots, one of which is blood clotting. Anyone can suffer from it, but if you have high blood pressure (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes, your risk of a TIA is higher. Additionally, the risk of TIA increases with age.
“There’s a misconception that TIAs only happen to the elderly,” says Anita Mehta, MD, a neurologist at Summit Health. “TIAs and strokes can affect anyone.” In 2009, 34 percent of people hospitalized for stroke were under 65. aged.”
Symptoms of a mini stroke
Stroke symptoms usually last only a few minutes. However, this does not mean that someone will not experience the symptoms of a stroke for a long time. In some cases, symptoms can last up to 24 hours.
Common symptoms of a TIA include:
Dizziness or loss of balance
Temporary weakness or numbness on one side of the body, usually the arm or face
Speech and language disorders
Vision problems or difficulty seeing in one eye
Confusion or difficulty understanding
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible. While no one wants to have a mini-stroke, it’s a warning sign that can help prevent future strokes. Remember, up to 15 percent of people who have a TIA have a stroke within 90 days.
Symptoms of stroke
A helpful way to recognize the symptoms of a stroke or TIA is FAST, an acronym for the American Stroke Association.
F – drooping face
A – hand weakness
S – speech difficulties
T – Time to call 911
Mini stroke treatment
If you have been diagnosed with a mini stroke, these are treatments that can help reduce your risk of having a stroke in the future, including:
Anticoagulants with blood-thinning action
Lifestyle changes to improve cardiovascular health
Surgery is rarely needed to correct anatomic defects that increase the risk of blood clots
Prevention of stroke
Regardless of age or health status, we can all reduce the risk of taking medications by improving our cardiovascular health. You can do the following:
Avoid smoking. If you are a heavy smoker, talk to your doctor about resources to help you quit
Eat a healthy diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables
Try to maintain a healthy weight
Final Thoughts on TIAs and Ministrokes
Understanding the signs, risk factors, and symptoms of stroke is important to preventing a full-blown stroke. Get regular checkups to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. If you think you may be experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.